This Blog is carrying on elsewhere ….

Please see from now on. This Blog will no longer be updated!

Thank You


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Thinkpad X31 and Ubuntu 9.04

I am typing this from my newly purchased IBM Thinkpad X31 loaded with Windows XP Pro and Ubuntu 9.04.

Firstly I have to say something about the machine itself, and then I will go on a bit about how Linux is doing on this notebook.

From the time I opened the box and saw the laptop I was overjoyed. This unit is small and super portable but at the same time it isn’t so small that you feel you are falling off of it all the time. I have had a lot of opportunity to handle, use and just fool around with a variety of Netbooks, ASUS EEEpc, MSI, ACER, HP and the Lenovo S10, but nothing comes close to this X31 in my opinion.
This ultra-portable has a 12 inch screen so its small and lightweight but very comfortable. Mine came with an 80GB hard drive, 1.25GB of RAM, ATI Graphics card with dedicated video memory, Firewire, 2 x USB2.0, CF Card slot, PCMCIA slot, VGA out, Lan/Wifi/Modem, portable docking station with DVD Burner and more ports — all for $320 (AUD) including shipping!

Sure, this machine is not new and it isn’t a glossy or shiny gadget, but its got a lot of heart and the price is great for the quality and features you get – I would take this little beauty over a Netbook any day!

Now on to Linux…

I loaded Ubuntu 9.04 on here from the start. All the hardware was picked up and working from “GO”!
Ubuntu 9.04 does seem to run just a slight bit sluggish though and I am going to try out putting either Ubuntu Hardy LTS, Xubuntu or even Ubuntu Remix.

Overall its been superb with not a single hitch in this run!

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Firefox/Flash crashing in Ubuntu …

I have been having this issue in Ubuntu for a while. The problem occurs when I play Flash content (ie. YouTube or Google Video) and just as the video is about start playing Firefox crashes. This does not happen each and every time though, but its pretty regular.

So here is how I fixed the issue.

STEP 1: Download the latest Adobe Flash plugin from

STEP 2: Open Synaptic Package Manager (System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager) and search for “flash”. In the list find the package called “flashplugin-nonfree” and mark for Complete Removal. Apply the changes and close Synaptic.

STEP 3: Go back to the Adobe Flash plugin you downloaded and install the package. Restart Firefox and your done!

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Unhide Volume in AWN …

If you use AWN (avant-window-navigator) you either have already experienced the following, or you are yet to …

When using the Stacks Plugger applet to view mounted volumes, such as flash drives, CD/DVD’s and external Hard Drives, you have to right click on these volumes and select “Unmount Volume” from the right-click menu in order to unmount it. However, right above the “Unmount Volume” option there is another option which is “Hide Volume” and many people will end up at some point mistakingly clicking on that option which makes the volume vanish from AWN but remain mounted. The bothering thing about this is that the next time you plug that same device in it will not show up any more in AWN — VERY annoying!

So here is how to get that undone …

NOTE: You can also accomplish this without the Terminal but its much simpler this way.

STEP 1: Open a Terminal (Gnome: Applications > Accessories > Terminal)
STEP 2: Paste this like into the terminal:

gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/avant-window-navigator/applets

and hit “Enter”.

STEP 3: Close the Terminal and close AWN (Right-click on the corner of the AWN Dock and select “Close”)

STEP 4: Re-open AWN (Gnome: Applications > Accessories > Avant-Window-Navigator)


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Eliminate Two Windows Boot Options …

I have seen this happen on many machines, and the cause can be different, but basically you end up with two entries in the boot.ini file which each call for a Windows boot. So when you boot up your computer you are asked to pick which one you want.

To remove this annoyance you can do the following:

1) Right-click My Computer

2) Click Properties from the right-click menu

3) Click the Advanced tab

4) Click the Startup & Recovery Settings button

5) Here you’ll have a choice to choose your default OS. Usually you don’t need to change it as it will already be on the best one.

6) Most likely, the “time to display list of OS’s” will be checked with a timeout equal to the time your computer waits until it boots without user intervention. UNCHECK that box.

7) Reboot and you should boot directly into Widows without the boot prompt.

Good Luck

Editing Firefox Dictionary in Ubuntu Linux …

The other day I right-clicked on a word in Firefox and selected “Add to Dictionary” by accident. Here is how to rectify the mistake by removing the added entry.

1. Close Firefox
2. Open Nautilus to your Home Folder and click on View > Show Hidden Files
3. Navigate to: .mozilla/firefox/xxxxxx.default
4. Open the file called persdict.dat in the Text Editor and delete the unwanted entries
5. Save and Close the file


Linux Experience Feedback Report!

This is something new I hope to do every now and then. Basically a little survey filled out by someone (a Linux user).

    The Linux Experience Feedback Report

Q: What is your occupation?

A: I am a freelance web developer, programmer, and networking consultant.

Q: What is your age range? (15-20 / 20-25 / 25-30 / 30-40 / 40+)

A: 15-20

Q: From a scale of 1 to 10 (where 10 is the best) how would you rate your computer literacy?

A: 8.571832

Q: When did you first attempt to use Linux (Year! Month if you can), what distribution was it and what prompted you to try Linux?

A: I don’t remember exactly. I recall Ubuntu 6.06 as being one of my early distros, which would place me close to 6/2006, however I feel like I’ve been using it since earlier than that…

Q: Did you like and continue to use Linux from the very first time you tried it? (If “No”, why not? If “Yes” you can skip the next question.)

A: No, one of my earliest Linux experiences involved buying a computer and trying to install red hat Linux on it. this was pre-2000, and I as I recall, that computer wound up on eBay 😉

Q: How long was it before you tried Linux again, what distribution was it and how was your experience this time?

A: Quite a while, however given that I started with Ubuntu, I took to it like a fish to water.

Q: Do you use Linux now? (If “Yes”, what distro? If “No”, why not?)

A: Yes. I vary from week to week, at the moment I am using a stripped-down Ubuntu 8.10, however that can vary from Source Mage, through Gentoo, up to Debian or a later Ubuntu.

Q: (If you use Linux …) Do you use Windows as well as Linux? If you do, please tell us why and/or for which tasks specifically.

A: Yes, the Linux version of “Packet Tracer” (A cisco network simulator) is at the moment nearly unusable, and I also enjoy the occasional first person shooter, or a few hours of GTA. I use Linux for any serious stuff though.

Q: In your own words, do you think Linux is ready for the average Home Computer User? (If “No”, why not? If “Yes”, for how long has it been ready and why?)

A: Yes and No. The average is hard to define in people, however I would say that the average Home Computer user is becoming tech savvy enough to be ready for a user-friendly distro like Ubuntu, however Linux is certainly not ready for your grandmother yet. Often, however, if a user only needs Web browsing capibilities (accessing webmail, keeping up to date with the news, etc.) and an office suite, Linux can serve the purpose without needing to be particularly user friendly. Really, at this point I would say No in general, then say Yes on a great number of individual cases.